ICU specialist says that “95% of all intensive care beds are occupied”

The Chair of the Belgian Association of Intensive Medicine Geert Meyfroidt has told VRT News that the situation on the country’s intensive care wards is very worrying. Speaking as a guest in the topical discussion programme ‘De Afspraak’, Professor Meyfroidt warned that “Currently around 1,900 of the country’s 2,000 intensive care beds are occupied. This means that not every hospital has beds that are still available”. 

There are currently 739 COVID-19 patients in intensive care and this figure is rising each day.

“We are trying to let regular care continue as much as possible, but additional COVID patients are arriving each day and this is gradually pushing away the non-COVID patients”, Professor Meyfroidt said.

He warned that we should at all cost try and avoid having to create extra intensive care beds. “We did this during the first and second waves. But then you really do put the system under adverse pressure. We saw during the first wave that mortality was 6% higher among those in the extra beds that had been created”.

During the peak of the first wave there were 1,280 COVID-19 patients on Belgian intensive care wards. At the peak of the second wave this was higher still at 1,500 intensive care patients. 

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